« Allegorical Interpretation Allegri, Gregorio Alleine, Joseph »

Allegri, Gregorio

ALLEGRI, ɑ̄l-lê´grî, GREGORIO: Italian composer; b. in Rome, of the family of the Correggios, most probably about 1585; d. there Feb. 18, 1652. He studied music under Nanini (1600-07), and after 1629 belonged to the choir of the Sistine Chapel. He was one of the first to compose for stringed instruments. His most celebrated work is a Miserere for two choirs, one of five and the other of four voices, which, as given at Rome during Holy Week, acquired a great reputation. For a long time extraordinary efforts were made to prevent the publication of the music; but Mozart at the age of fourteen was able to write it down from memory, and Dr. Charles Burney (author of the History of Music) procured a copy from another source and published it in La musica che si canta annualmente nelle funzioni della settimana santa, nella cappella pontificia (London, 1771). The effect of the Miserere as given in Rome seems to be due to the associations and execution rather than to any inherent quality in the music, as presentations of it elsewhere have proved distinctly disappointing.

Bibliography: F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Letters from Italy and Switzerland, transl. by Lady Wallace, pp. 133-134, 168-191, Philadelphia, 1863.

« Allegorical Interpretation Allegri, Gregorio Alleine, Joseph »
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